Located near the administrative border between Tulkarm and Haifa, al-Manshiyya stood on a low, gradually sloping hill in the middle of a wide plan, with woodlands to the west and south. A secondary road connected the village to the coastal highway, which lay 3 km east of the site. The village had a rectangular layout with houses extending along the road to the southern village of Qaqun. Drinking water for the village was supplied by several wells around the site. Agriculture was based primarily on grain as well as fruits such as melons, citrus and bananas.
Occupation and Depopulation
Al-Manshiyya was a key site for Haganah security during 1948. As early as 13 April Haganah chief Israel Galili wrote to the Jewish National Fund that it was “important for security” for settlements to be established at several sites on Haganah-occupied territory, including al-Manshiyya. According to Benny Morris “on or about” 15 April 1948, the residents of al-Manshiyya evacuated their villages and moved eastwards.
Morris interviewed a Haganah intelligence officer in 1985, who claimed he had pleaded with the villages to remain and accept Haganah protection.
The villagers reached an agreement that local Jewish settlements would safeguard their property and allow them to return to their homes after the war. However, by the end of the month Morris notes that Haganah units were already at work systematically destroying their homes with the assistance of Jewish settlements in the area. The Haganah General Staff had earlier decided that the whole area between Tel Aviv and the Coastal settlement of Hadera (south of Haifa) should be empty of Arabs by 15 May.
Israeli Settlements on the VIllage Lands:
The settlements of ‘En ha-Choresh, founded in 1931 and Giv’at Chayyim, founded in 1932, were built on what was traditionally village land.
Later in 1952 the settlement of Achituv was also established on village land, east of the site.
The Village Today
A paved street bisects the old village site with the Israeli settlement of Giv’at Chayyim lying on both sides of this street. Cactuses grown near the village entrance and a large cow barn can be found at the southern end of the intersecting street.
Old stones from the village houses are used as boundaries between flower beds, while cotton, pistachios and fruits are grown on the surrounding land.
Source: al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington DC: 1992.
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